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Local outlets stressed that the Constitutional Court is likely to rule against abortion decriminalization if judge Linares is not included in the debate.
The Colombian Constitutional Court’s debate on the total decriminalization of abortion scheduled to conclude on Friday will run for at least one more week because the vote on whether this court should include judge Alejandro Linares in the process resulted in tied.
Before focusing on the legal issue, the constitutional court was to decide on the participation of Linares, who expressed his position in favor of legalizing the voluntary termination of pregnancy in an interview on national television on Nov. 11.
Upon the lawyer Ana Idarraga imposed a complaint against Linares for these non-impartial statements, he declared himself prevented from participating in the debate and left it up to his colleagues to assess whether they accept his impediment or not.
The associate judge Hernando Yepes will be in charge of deciding on the tiebreaker. Local outlets stressed that the court is likely to rule against abortion decriminalization if Linares is not included in the debate.
In Colombia, abortion is only legal if there is a danger to the life or health of the woman, the fetus has malformation, or the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
The Criminal Code establishes 4-year sentences for women who interrupt their pregnancies without complying with these three grounds and anyone who helps them perform such abortions.
"Our justice system must urgently rule again on abortion since only about 5 percent of the pregnancy terminations that take place in Colombia are considered legal," NGO Bureau for Women’s Life and Health Co-founder Ana Gonzalez stated.